Skip to main content

Python: Amazon Product Advertising API

If you use Amazon Associates Web Service, then you may have recently received an email explaining that they are renaming the service to the "Product Advertising API". They're also now requiring you to sign your requests. This was a problem for me. Previously, I was making requests without using an Amazon client library. It's pretty simple to use with just urllib2. However, the logic to sign requests is non-trivial.

I couldn't find any modern Python bindings for the Product Advertising API. However, I knew that boto was a popular client library for some of Amazon's other services like S3 and EC2. I figured the signing logic was probably the same. Even though boto doesn't support the Product Advertising API, I managed to get it to work.

Here's a simple proof of concept. You'll need your own access key, etc.:
import time
import urllib

from boto.connection import AWSQueryConnection


search_index = 'All'
keywords = 'pink'
aws_conn = AWSQueryConnection(
aws_secret_access_key=AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, is_secure=False,
aws_conn.SignatureVersion = '2'
params = dict(
Timestamp=time.strftime("%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S", time.gmtime()))
verb = 'GET'
path = '/onca/xml'
qs, signature = aws_conn.get_signature(params, verb, path)
qs = path + '?' + qs + '&Signature=' + urllib.quote(signature)
print "verb:", verb, "qs:", qs
response = aws_conn._mexe(verb, qs, None, headers={})


andy said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
THE HIRE said…
Nice code. Very helpful. Thanks. One question...What is the Associate Tag? Is it the Tracking ID given from Amazon Associates?
When you make your way through the, you'll end up becoming an "associate", and they'll give it to you. Mine is "jji-20", so it's not a secret or anything.
Matt said…
That was easy! Thanks man!
Awesome! Glad to hear someone benefited :)
Sriram said…
Thank you. This did it for me. I linked to your post and copied your code (with minor mods) into stackoverflow
Cool. Glad it worked for you :)
Ian said…
Thanks for the snippet, this is helpful. By the by, it appears that someone else has claimed copyright on this code, "all rights reserved", you might want to sort them out:
Thanks, Ian. There's code looks different enough that I'm not going to worry about it.
Pixelismo said…
Hi every one.. sorry for my english
i'm a little confused, i'm not crear in the way to get the Associate Tag and how to complete the fields Timestamp and Signature.

there's an example running over there?

Thanks a lot

> i'm not crear in the way to get the Associate Tag

You'll have to read Amazon's documentation. It's not that big a deal.

> and how to complete the fields Timestamp and Signature.

The code above does that for you.

> there's an example running over there?

The last I checked, we had this code running in production.
Anonymous said…
thanks, but i am getting the following error:
boto.exception.TooManyAuthHandlerReadyToAuthenticate: 6 AuthHandlers ready to authenticate, only 1 expected:

can you help please
Sorry, I haven't used that library for several years. I hate to say it, but you're on your own. Best of luck!
Yoav Aviram said…
If what you are looking for is a simple, object oriented access to Amazon products (lookup and search), try python-amazon-simple-product-api:

Its the new kid on the block!
Yoav, cool, thanks!